Microsoft knew about Xbox 360 disc-scratch problem, employee claims
Fresh court documents uncover the 'truth'
Microsoft knew prior to the Xbox 360’s launch that the console can damage discs if gamers tilt the unit while a disc’s spinning inside, documents from a lawsuit focused on the problem reveal.
The revelation was made by Hiroo Umeno, a Microsoft programmer, in an ongoing case that was filed with the Seattle District Court in July 2007. The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status on behalf of affected gamers, but the documents containing Umeno’s confession have only just been unsealed at the court, according to a report by website Seattle Tech.
The documents - seen by Register Hardware - state that the problem was initally discovered by Microsoft back in “September or October” of 2005. The console launched Stateside in November 2005.
After the 360's launch, Microsoft dispatched a team of engineers to retail stores across the US to investigate complaints that the console was scratching discs. It’s at this point that Microsoft determined that “if you tilt the [console] to the left or forward... you’ll cause a scratch”, it’s claimed in the documents.
Microsoft’s engineers, according to Umeno's testimony, found that scratches were caused by game discs becoming “unchucked” and colliding with the optical pickup unit. This action causes “deep circular rings” on discs.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft has already issued several ‘fixes’, including a disc replacement programme for gamers and a warning sticker placed on new Xbox 360s that tilting the console with a disc inside could result in disc damage.
Roughly 55,000 Xbox 360 owners had complained about scratched discs as of 30 April this year, according to the court documents. Several other lawsuits have also been launched against Microsoft from disgruntled gamers with scratched discs.
My PS2 is the only device I've had scratch a disc - my cat knocked it over when it was in a vertical position, and sure enough, big scratches ensued. So that can do it as well.
Ever since, I keep all my consoles horizontal. Particularly that PS2, though that's more to do with it now having a hard drive in it, which leaves the machine quite absurdly top-heavy.
No movement required
My 360 has scratched disks consistently, despite remaining perfectly immobile and horizontal in the bottom of my TV cabinet. It has done this despite being replaced twice - the jury is still out on the current replacement.. not sure if it still has the same Samsung drive in it.
Not all CDs/DVDs are perfectly balanced or have spindle holes that are completely concentric. You can usually identify these disks as they can be considerable noisier during access due to the increased vibration.
Saying that this only happens when the unit is moved or even jogged is bollox!
You get what you pay for !
Of course they can be sued
What the hell is with all you "Duh, just don't tilt it?" types. I mean seriously this drive ***IS*** defective. As Adrian Jackson says, ever heard of a CD Walkman? (Well I'm guessing "no", but...) this thing would go in a pocket or bag *while you are jogging*, and read CDs... without scratching them!
This lawsuit seems to be covering the early units that did not have warning stickers, etc. (Note a warning sticker is a pretty lame fix for a design defect.) For all of you saying "well you wouldn't put a DVD player on it's side" 1) DVD-ROMs *do* work just great on their side. HP for one seems to LOVE mounting drives that way. 2) DVD players aren't shown in ads sitting on the side and the case isn't really shaped welll for it, unlike XBoxes.
your all missing the point
the xbox360 is so lacklustre that 55000 people resort to tilting their consoles for entertainment.